Leaders of the Gap Inc. and Levi
Strauss & Co. on Monday joined the growing chorus of business
leaders opposed to bills critics say will allow businesses to
discriminate against members of the LGBT community based on religious
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a
Republican, has been under fire since he signed such a bill Thursday.
A similar bill in Arkansas is expected to reach the desk of Governor
Asa Hutchinson, who has pledged his signature.
Gov. Mike Pence won't say whether discrimination against gays should
Unlike other states where similar bills
have been enacted, civil rights laws in neither state include sexual
orientation or gender identity as protected classes.
“As Indiana, Arkansas, and states
around the country enact and consider legislation that perpetuates
discrimination, we're urging State Legislatures to stand up for
equality by repealing and voting against these discriminatory laws,”
Gap CEO Art Peck and Levi Strauss & Co President Chip Bergh said
in a joint statement.
“These new laws and legislation, that
allow people and businesses to deny service to people based on their
sexual orientation, turn back the clock on equality and foster a
culture of intolerance.”
“Discriminatory laws are
unquestionably bad for business, but more importantly, they are
fundamentally wrong. They must be stopped,” they added.
Other business leaders who have spoken
out against such bills include Apple CEO Tim
Cook and Salesforce CEO Marc
Benioff. Customer review website Angie's List put on
hold its plans to expand in Indiana.